This is the first biography of legendary Steelers coach Chuck Noll, who led the Pittsburgh Steelers to an unprecedented four Super Bowl victories and built the team into one of the greatest football dynasties in history. It’s an intimate portrait that traces Noll’s journey from a childhood in Depression-era Cleveland, where he first played football in a fully integrated neighborhood league, through his serious pursuit of the sport in high school, college, and then professionally for the Browns, before Noll discovered his true calling as a coach.
When Noll arrived in Pittsburgh, the city was in deep crisis, facing the decline of its lifeblood industry. Added to that, the Steelers had been the worst team in professional football for nearly four decades. Noll quickly remolded the team into the most accomplished in the history of the NFL, and through this Pittsburghers came to believe that winning and recovery were possible – for their city as well as for their team.
Michael MacCambridge reveals the family ties that built Noll’s character, his struggles with epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, the love story that shaped his life, as well as his unique skill as a coach. By understanding the man himself, we can at last clearly see Noll’s profound influence on the city, players, coaches, and game he loved.
Michael MacCambridge is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on football. His book America’s Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation was named one of the most distinguished works of non-fiction by the Washington Post in 2004, and won the Nelson Ross Award from the Professional Football Researchers Association. He also edited the critically acclaimed ESPN College Football Encyclopedia, hailed by Sports Illustrated as “the Bible” of the sport. In addition to his many books, MacCambridge’s freelance writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, and GQ.